Jorge De La Rosa has pitched very well against the Arizona Diamondbacks this year, but the Colorado Rockies have never won when he's pitched at Chase Field.
De La Rosa will face the first-place Diamondbacks for the fourth time in 2013 on Friday night for the second-place Rockies in the opener of this three-game set.
Arizona (44-41) leads Colorado (42-44) by 2 1/2 games in the tightly packed NL West. These teams have split 10 meetings and won't meet again after this series until September.
De La Rosa (8-4, 3.09 ERA) presents a familiar foe to the Diamondbacks, going 2-1 with a 1.56 ERA in three matchups this year.
However, he allowed three runs over six innings in a 3-2 road loss April 25 to drop to 0-4 with a 3.72 ERA in six starts in Arizona. The Rockies have dropped all of those games, giving De La Rosa 10 runs of total support.
The Rockies have won nine of the left-hander's last 11 starts, and De La Rosa is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in the last three. He's given up three runs over his past 27 innings on the road.
Wil Nieves has enjoyed the most success against him this year among Diamondbacks hitters by going 4 for 6, but he may not start after catching all 15 innings in a 5-4 win over the Mets on Thursday. Paul Goldschmidt has a homer in eight 2013 at_bats against De La Rosa.
Arizona top prospect Tyler Skaggs (1-1, 5.40) will be recalled from Triple-A Reno to start Friday in his third stint with the club this year. He was needed since Trevor Cahill was placed on the disabled list Monday.
Manager Kirk Gibson believes the left-hander, who made the most recent of his three starts for Arizona on June 9, will fare better this time around in his first outing against the Rockies.
"He'll have a better idea of what he's up against," Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website. "We're going to play a good Colorado team, and they're going to score a lot of runs, so he's going to have to make good pitches on them."
Arizona begins a 10-game homestand after salvaging a split of a four-game set in New York in a wild game in which it blew leads in the 13th and 14th innings.
"It's a grind, but if we want to win a world championship, we're going to have to endure a lot worse than that," Gibson said.
Goldschmidt is mired in a 5-for-26 slump, and he's 6 for 36 against Colorado this year. The Rockies will get their first look at Aaron Hill, who missed the previous matchups due to a broken hand. Hill went 5 for 15 in this week's series with the Mets.
The Diamondbacks catch a break since they won't face the injured Troy Tulowitzki, who is 11 for 28 with three homers and 10 RBIs against them.
Colorado's Michael Cuddyer is hitting .366 while hitting safely in 29 of 30 games. His franchise-record 27-game run was snapped Tuesday.
Carlos Gonzalez left Thursday's 9-5 win over the Dodgers in the sixth inning with a strained upper back. Gonzalez, who is 7 for 39 against Arizona, apparently hurt his back while striking out in the fifth.
"He said he's done it before. We're not too concerned," manager Walt Weiss said. "It was enough of an issue to get him out of there."
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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